Blog posts & news

Blog posts

Unlocking the Magic: Crafting Vibrant Mini-Publics for Deliberative Democracy 

For over a decade, I've had the privilege of spearheading the recruitment of over 60 mini-publics across Australia. As my experience grows, so does my understanding, alongside the insights from my PhD research, changing how I think about inclusion when recruiting...

Deliberation beyond citizens’ juries

Deliberation: ‘careful consideration before a decision’ (Macquarie Dictionary Online) Representative democracy is essentially about aggregating public opinion through voting in elections where there are set options in the form of the policies of a relatively...

A new world of working is here to stay

How we work is changing and will change forever. New ways of engaging with employees, customers, and communities are certain to become commonplace. The health and economic crisis caused by the COVID 19 pandemic is a human tragedy on multiple levels.  Those...

Virtual engagement needn’t be second best

A lot of things need to change for us to effectively undertake community engagement during the fight against COVID-19. But one important constant is the need to continue to enable citizens to have a say in decisions that impact...

Nivek Thompson of Deliberately Engaging has co-designed two great new courses on deliberative democracy for the Institute of Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology, Sydney.

Doing Deliberative Democracy

This course is designed for “do-ers” – community engagement professionals and facilitators who want to learn about deliberative engagement phases and methods and how they differ from traditional participation methods.

Leading Deliberative Democracy

This course is designed for elected representatives, senior decision-makers and leaders within organisations. It shares key insights from leaders who have overseen successful deliberative processes and shows how you can apply the principles to address the complex issues your organisation is facing.

Embracing the New Normal

A dialogue of facilitators and engagement professionals to discuss the “New Normal” and what it means for our profession and clients.

Discover our new podcast series, Masterclass for Activists

Moderated by Emeritus Professor Ed Davis and launched by ACTU Secretary Sally McManus

Other news

Masterclass for Activists – July 2021

Episode 5 – The winning strategy that built Australia’s safety net – out now  – This compelling episode tells the remarkable story of how the Australian labour movement radically expanded the safety net in the 1980s; Australia was the only country on earth during those years that made major safety net gains for workers despite the unprecedented economic crisis of stagflation.

Public deliberation and policy design – May 2021

On Power to Persuade – a platform for discussion about social policy in Australia in a global context – Alastair Stark, Nivek Thompson and Greg Marston argue that public deliberation can lead to better policy design by offering something more dynamic than a ‘snapshot’ of public opinion: it can show policymakers how citizens think and justify their decisions.

Democratic Innovations – March 2020

The latest contributions by Nivek Thompson, Deliberately Engaging’s CEO, to thought leadership in the field of democratic innovation has been published in the Handbook of Democratic Innovation and Governance (edited by Elstub, S. & Escobar, O.) Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham, UK (2019). This new academic benchmark contains tow contributions by Nivek, the first on “The role of elected representatives in democratic innovations” and the second on “Democratic Innovations in Australia” co-authored with Lucy Parry and Jane Alver.

Developing young community leaders – February 2020

Deliberately Engaging is producing an exciting new podcast series for tomorrow’s community and workplace leaders. Moderated by Emeritus Professor Ed Davis the series will discuss how to empower people and give them a greater voice.

Facilitating public deliberation – January 2019

Deliberately Engaging is producing a new podcast series on the art of facilitating public deliberations that is moderated by Professor Lyn Carson and developed in partnership with the newDemocracy Foundation We will be talking with practitioners, advocates and academics about the history of pubic deliberations and the various approaches to facilitating them.

Deliberately Engaging teams up with Queensland University – November 2019

Deliberately Engaging is partnering with the University of Queensland in researching the impact of deliberation on how people consider different policy proposals for integrating environmental, economic and social considerations. This project also explores the respective impact of online with face-to-face deliberation. The results will be published in academic journals in due course.

A leader of people – September 2019

Deliberately Engaging’s Daren McDonald has a passionate commitment to social justice and a deep interest in the history of social movements that have helped create peace, justice and better societies. Man on a Mission (Sifiso Publishing, Johannesburg 2019) is the latest in a series of four books he has edited that gives voice to stories about changing the world. Man on a Mission is the autobiography of South African Ambassador Sonwabo “Eddie” Funde who stood with Nelson Mandela in winning freedom for his people and, in so doing, inspired people everywhere that – together – we can make change happen.

Real Democracy Now: A Podcast – July 2019

In episode eight of season three, Nivek Thompson of Deliberately Engaging speaks  with Therese Arseneau about the introduction of a mixed-member proportional (MMP) electoral system to New Zealand. Therese was an expert advisor to the New Zealand Electoral Commission between 2010 and 2016 and is currently an Adjunct Senior Fellow with the University of Canterbury, Christchurch.

World first democratic innovation – May 2019

Deliberately Engaging recently donated its services to assist the Kyneton and District Town Hall Co-operative select a portion of their board members through the use of sortition, in what appears to be a world first democratic innovation. Sortition or selection by lot (like a lottery), has a long history. It was used in ancient Greece (specifically in Athens), the birthplace of democracy, to select people for political office. Sortition has been used in many places since Ancient Athens. The most well-known is the use of sortition to select people for jury service.  Recently in Australia sortition, or random selection as it is more commonly called, is used as part of deliberative “mini-publics”, often called citizens’ juries.

We seek to build the capabilities of government, business and civil society to realise the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal 16 to:

“Ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels” and

“Develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels”